Wow! It’s Wednesday! The Demons Are Back In Town

So for the first time in weeks, I actually went through with a Weekly Habit and both exercised and re-started work on my new novel yesterday.

Walking for 30 minutes was both fun and invigorating and I’ve scheduled flossing into my morning routine — finally just admitting that I was too tired to attempt it at night. But the writing bit was a lot more horrible than expected.

When I think about starting a huge new project, I always imagine myself in a sunny room, writing away with a chipper tap-tap-tap to my typing rhythm. I don’t know how, but I always manage to forget about the writing demons, which go especially big at the beginning of any project.

Working on Molly Ringwald Ending for so long I had gotten used to the wheedling demons. These guys were my buds. They wanted me to watch TV with them. Go to the movies. Read a book. Hangout with friends — anything but finish MRE. They made a lot of convincing arguments about how the quality of my life was actually going down, because I spent too much time writing. And they’re undermining was subtle. They’d ask questions like, “What if you spend all of this time writing a novel, and it doesn’t sell? It’s a terrible, terrible market right now. Think about all the time you wasted on writing when you could have been enjoying your life.”

That’s the nice version of the demons. When I start something new they get downright brutal. Yesterday they informed me that

1) I am a shit writer in a shitty market

2) No one wants to read an adventure novel with morally ambiguous women as the main characters — that’s why they’re aren’t any novels like that out there already.

3) I’m not original. I’m stupid for continuously writing things that won’t sell and that’s why nothing I write, including Molly Ringwald Ending will ever see the light of a bookshelf.

4) I shouldn’t have quit my full-time job as a writer, because no one else will ever be dumb enough to pay me that much money to write ever again. And

5) I’m worthless. Seriously other than the possibility of breeding a couple of kids who might turn out better than me if I don’t also fuck up being a mother, there’s no reason that I should exist when worthy people who do worthy things die everyday.

Yeah, they’re like that.

That’s why I don’t get jealous of successful writers anymore. If they figured out how to keep on writing despite the demons, then I say more power to them. And I ask them to write down exactly how they did it, so that I can benefit from they’re experience.

I started writing at 6:30PM. The demons started harranging me at 6:32PM. After a half-an-hour of this awfulness, I tried to stop. But then I said to myself, Ernessa your only job now is to turn around Fierce and Nerdy and to write this second novel, even if it doesn’t sell, even if it’s a pile of shit, you quit your job, so you need to have something to show for it.

So on that deeply unromantic note, I started writing again. Then what seemed like only a few minutes later I came to. The office, which is actually a converted deck was very cold and I was freezing, despite having on a sweater with the hood up. Strange, I didn’t remember putting the hood up. I was also hungry as I hadn’t eaten since 1PM. I looked at the clock. It was 9:30. I looked at the screen, I had written 8 pages. I did some calculations on my computer’s calculator. If I managed to write even 3 pages every weekday, I would have a rough draft of this novel finished by the time the baby comes. I pushed the save button on my new pages.

There’s a chance that the demons are right. That’s the problem with demons. There’s always a chance that they’re right.

But that’s part of the helplessness of being a writer, I think. At the end of the day you do it, because there’s nothing else you can do. I’m not stupid. If there was any other job I could do without going crazy(er) I would. Also, it’s a natural inclination. If there was some kind of apocolypse and I was the last person on earth, in between looking for food and water and other human life, I’d write a play or novel or a first-hand account about how the apocolypse happened and its aftermath. Then I’d hope that the aliens would find it after I died. And that maybe it would provide them with a few hours of entertainment.

That’s all.


Night of the Demon Credit: David Johnson